This can’t be me

This is me.

Sleep-deprived with yesterday’s makeup smeared under my lids, but not too bad, right?

This is also me.

More than 100 lbs overweight for my height, and feeling more and more lately like the weight is going to kill me.

How did I go from the skinny chick to the Blob? It’s easy to claim I don’t know how it happened, but that would be a lie. I grew up skinny, so I never learned proper eating habits. In my first years of college, I could easily down a bag of Oreos with some Cool Whip and not gain a pound. I could eat a whole can of frosting and still wear crop tops. 132 lbs on a “fat day.”

After starting a retail job my metabolism changed. I gained up to about 150 lbs. I was eating terrible foods from the food court rather than bringing a healthy lunch. For several years, I bounced up and down…165, 155, 170, 185, 165, 150…

This was me.

At 143 pounds at the time of the above photo–over 10 years ago–I had people asking me if I was eating enough. I had just started Ritalin after falling asleep while driving, and my body melted away the post-college pounds. I was actually drinking Ensure every day to keep the weight on.

But I still didn’t listen when my body started to expand again. I found out I was moving across-country, and I got worried about finding a new job, meeting new friends, starting life all over again.

It started small. Foot-long subs at the Subway next door to work instead of 6-inchers. A couple Swiss Cake Rolls from the gas station around the corner before work. Captain D’s. McDonald’s. Diet Dr. Peppers out the wazoo. Energy drinks. A good ol’ Southern “veggie tray” from the hospital cafeteria every other day. (Note: in Alabama, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese count as “veggies.”) I attributed my slow crawl back up to 150 to the stress of the impending move.

I moved to Arizona a month before the rest of my family so I could do in-person job hunting. Because our house wasn’t finished yet, I was living in an extended-stay motel. My food habits suffered. Sure, I bought the little weight-loss frozen dinners…and ate two or three at a time because one doesn’t do shit for your hunger. I also ate at fast food places a lot and ordered from the local Pizza Hut. Stuffed crust veggie pizza, no mushrooms. I didn’t realize how often I was ordering from Pizza Hut until one of the delivery people started recognizing me and greeting me like an old friend. Guess I was a good tipper.

By the time the house was done and I had access to a scale again, I was about 165-170. That’s around the time I started working retail again. Smaller mall, smaller food court, still crappy food aplenty. While working in retail, before I got my current job, I met my now-husband. Who likes to cook. Who LOVES potatoes.

Well, that was pretty much the end of that. Now that I had someone feeding me constantly, someone who didn’t care how big I was, I guess I gave up on trying to get serious about losing weight. 180. 195. 200+. Almost nine years later, I’m hovering just under 290.

It’s hard to get dressed, especially putting on shoes & socks. I get winded easily. I’m hot all the freaking time, and I don’t know if it’s from the weight or hormones or both. I can’t make cosplays for myself anymore because I’m way outside the upper limit of the commercial patterns. I don’t fit at some restaurants’ booths. My feet hurt all the time, and I can’t do the things I used to like to do. I have stretch marks over my entire belly in the shape of purple-blue flames, which may sound cool as a tattoo concept but not as nature’s cruel reminder of how fast I’ve gained. And it doesn’t help that I’m hungry all the time. Seriously–I get so hungry I feel nauseous.

My depression and anxiety are warring inside me, fighting against the logic of the situation. Depression says “What’s the point?” Anxiety says “I can’t go to a gym. They’ll stare. They’ll point and laugh.” Logic says “You will fucking DIE if you don’t lose weight.” The problem is, depression and anxiety are teaming up against logic, and fear has me so paralyzed that it’s no help whatsoever.

I really don’t have adequate words for all the ways my life went wrong to bring me to the weight I am today. I can’t blame anyone but myself, because I’m the one who keeps eating when I shouldn’t and what I shouldn’t and I just can’t stop myself. I know the easy answer: Diet, you moron! Sure, it’s all well and good to say that, but what diet out there won’t make me feel like I’m being deprived? I know, I know, pizza and cake and cookies and all that aren’t necessary foods. They’re very, very bad for me. But when I try to cut them out, I just feel like I’m missing out. I mean, the first half of my life I could eat whatever the fuck I wanted. Now? Now I’ve spent another half a lifetime shortening my lifespan.

I want to go back to being the skinny girl. I want to lose this weight that makes me feel awkward and gross and terrible. I just don’t know how to do it.

Next Monday I see my primary care doc. It’s not for the weight specifically, but I think I’ll ask him about it. See what I can do. Dietitian? Gastric bypass? I’m willing to try, I guess. I mean, I know I need to try. But I just don’t know if I can make myself do the thing I know I need to do.

I’ve given up on rapier fighting for now. I’m too damn fat. I can’t move right, and whenever I see photos of myself fighting at events I want to cry. Hell, whenever I see myself in photos that I didn’t take myself (with a little camera angle and forced perspective to make myself look thinner), I want to cry. When I look down and can’t see my feet, I want to cry.

I’m so tired of crying. So tired of being overweight and unhealthy. So tired of living like this.